A bill to ban Missouri's A+ Scholarship from going to immigrants living in the U.S. illegally has passed the state Senate.
Senators approved the measure 25-8 on Tuesday. The legislation now moves to the House.
The bill would make the state's A+ Scholarship available only to U.S. citizens and permanent residents. The scholarship money pays for two years of free tuition at community colleges.
Republican bill sponsor Sen. Gary Romine says it's unfair to open the scholarship to immigrants in Missouri illegally when money for the program already is stretched thin.
Immigrant advocates and Democratic opponents say it could pose financial barriers for students seeking a college education.
The House last week passed a similar measure that would prevent state money from paying for financial aid for those students.